Today I will continue my progression guide series with a guide on Garuda Hard Mode. Garuda Hard Mode is a three-phase fight, it is a healer and coordination dependent battle. Gear also makes a big difference in this fight unlike the previous stage’s Ifrit fight. Fresh 50s in job specific quest gear will have a difficult time with this fight, so run some Amdapor Keep or CM runs to gear yourself out first.
It’s preferred to have two tanks for this fight, with the off tank having a very reliable connection. Also, having both a Scholar and a White Mage is preferred to having two of one or the other. A balanced mix of single-target and AoE DPS will make plumes and clones easier, so keep that in mind when preparing the party.
This section is very important. It explains how to differentiate the order of which add to kill. Lines and names are random with no pattern so please read this section carefully.
Going into this fight there is one very important thing that I need to get out ahead of time. The Suparna Chirada stage, the names are irrelevant. Every video guide I’ve seen has you focus on the names. On full settings there will be a color line extending from each of the two adds. Red line means that add deals more damage and gives Garuda a damage increase buff. The off tank will want to grab the red line immediately and point it away from everyone else.
The other add, again ignoring names, will have the green line. The green line will mark the lesser damage add that gives Garuda a Regen buff. The DPS will want to pick this one up and kill it as soon as possible. If it takes too long Garuda, will regen health and leave you with less time to kill the other add before it shrieks in the center.
Phase one is very similar to story version. There is a rock at the north end of the map, and the main tank will tank Garuda here. This is good, because Garuda starts here. Once combat is initiated, Garuda immediately picks a random target to throw a Friction at. Friction is an AoE attack that will hit anything near the target, including the rocks. Stand away from each other and away from the rocks at the start.
Garuda also uses a move called Slipstream that will stun those it hits. Slipstream is a frontal attack that should never hit anyone other than the tank, so if you get hit by it you’re in the wrong spot. A good tank can avoid slipstream by stepping through Garuda and imediately returning to the previous position.
At around 90-95%, Garuda will disappear and reappear in the same position. The moment Garuda disappears you want to hide behind the rocks. Make sure you are on the south side of the rocks for this Mistral Shriek, as it will come from the north. If Shriek hits anyone other than the tank, it is a one shot. The tank, depending on gear/job, may also get one shot. Be aware of your surroundings.
A video of the Garuda theme song just to get you pumped while reading the rest of the guide.
After Shriek, Garuda will use Friction, so move away from the rocks as soon as Shriek hits. At this point all DPS should unload their best AoE skill. Garuda will summon Razor Plumes that attack the rocks–you must drop these Plumes as soon as possible, hence the massive AoEs. If all DPS do this, it should drop Plumes down to half health before they get to the rocks. Just mop up whatever is left from there.
After that get back on Garuda and push her down as far as possible. The second time she disappears, she will reappear in the center of the rocks for Mistral Shriek. After the first Shriek, they are on a timer. So while it’s not really possible to skip the second it is possible to skip the third. The second Shriek though goes in all directions, so position the rocks between yourself and Garuda. After the Shriek goes off, she will repeat the actions from the first Shriek. The tank needs to be back at the north side as soon as Shriek is over to pull Garuda back to position.
At this point you want to burn Garuda as fast as possible without using the limit break. If you drop her below 50%, she will go to the center and spawn Plumes around the outer circle that you must kill. If you can’t get her below 50%, she will do a Shriek on from the east. If she does the east Shriek, the tank is to tank her there instead of moving her back north. Again, the post Shriek rotation will happen. After this rotation, Garuda should jump to the middle to do the previously-mentioned Plume summon, unless the DPS is severely lacking–in which case, you won’t survive phase two anyways.
After the unique Plume summon, you’ll get a few hits in before Garuda returns to the center for Aerial Blast. The damage you take is based on the amount of rocks still standing. Ideally, you want there to be six sections of rock remaining, otherwise you won’t survive. The four rock columns are set up in three sections, for a total of 12 rock sections. You do not have to hide behind the rocks for this attack, so pre-position yourself to the north-northwest. The tank should be more north while everyone else should be more west. This puts you into phase two.
Once Garuda gets to the tank she will spawn green circles. These green circles will contain tornadoes that do massive damage and knockback. No one should ever be caught in these. At this point, just fight Garuda until she spawns adds. One add will spawn in the middle of the group and the other will spawn a ways away. For the adds, refer to the section at the top labeled very important. For this set, the only specific point is the positioning–off tank will tank the red line facing the center of the arena, not the clear area. DPS will pull the green line to the southern most point in the clear area and face it south. You will see these adds at least twice in the fight, maybe more, depending on your group’s speed.
Here is a glimpse of what add positioning will look like. Note red line is facing the DPS which is not good, off tank was not on point during positioning.
Once the adds are down, it’s movement time. The tank will begin to move Garuda at a steady pace clockwise avoiding the green circles. During this, Garuda will summon Plumes. Only kill the Satin Plume; it is the only purple plume. The other Plumes will disappear before too long. Once Satin is down, continue killing Garuda until the arena clears. You want to run to the middle immediately once the area clears. This transitions you to phase three.
Phase three appears to be similar to the last phase of the story mode. This is not the case, though. While the boundary works the same, the actual fighting mechanics are different. You want to continue burning down Garuda down until she pops out of the circle. From this point everyone wants to stand on the north edge of the circle and wait for the adds to spawn other tan the tank who stays where it is.
Off tank will grab red line and turn it around facing the way it came in from as soon as it enters the circle. DPS can just grab green line and face it north. Once the adds are dead the area will clear and the tank will pull Garuda north. Once north it will revert back to the movement from phase two. Again, kill Satin Plume and jump right back on Garuda.
Here’s an alternate way to position for the inner circle add spawn. It is not necessary, but if you have a prominent DPS, this way is easier. Otherwise green line will bounce around too much.
Once you get around to the south side of the arena, Garuda will spawn adds again. If you have a mage DPS, use the Meteor Limit Break. If not, have a melee DPS Limit Break the green line. The remainder of this is identical to phase two post adds. At this point the fight just repeats until Garuda dies or the party wipes.
I hope the guide was useful, this wraps up the three Hard Mode primal guides. For more of my guides please check my guide list. Please let me know if you have any comments, questions, or concerns about this guide. Also check out the first episode of my videocast here on GameSkinny.